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Why Is My House So Cold? Understanding the Chill Factor

"Why Is My House So Cold?" It's a question many of us in Britain ask as we reach for another jumper, even with the heating on full blast. Imagine you're just trying to enjoy a cosy evening, but you're shivering in your home instead.

But why? From sneaky drafts to poor insulation, there are many reasons behind a chilly home. Stick with us, and we'll dive into the top reasons and how to fix them, potentially saving you heaps on your energy bills.

Why Is My House So Cold? Understanding the Chill Factor

Why Is My House So Cold? Top Six Reasons!

The following are the top six reasons why my house is so cold even when the heating is on:

1: Poor Insulation

The primary culprit behind a chilly house, even when heating in the UK, is often inadequate insulation.

Did you know that heat naturally rises? This makes your attic and roof significant escape routes for warmth. Proper insulation in your loft could be the game-changer you need.

In fact, you might be losing up to a quarter of your home's heat through the roof alone! Given the increasing energy prices, an improperly insulated roof isn't just uncomfortable — it's pricey.

What's the solution?

Good news! There are government-supported energy efficiency programmes that might fund your loft insulation. Many companies offer free property assessments to gauge your insulation needs and can guide you in securing this funding. Why not see if you're eligible?

Moreover, if you are considering DIY insulation, though funded solutions are at hand, if you're going down the do-it-yourself route, ensure you're wearing protective gear. This includes gloves, safety goggles, and a mask. Remember to leave some space near the eaves to prevent unwanted moisture build-up.

2: Floors

The type of flooring you have might play a part in the cold temperatures you're feeling at home. Wood or uncovered floorboards can lead to quicker heat loss compared to carpets. And if you've ever stepped on a cold tile, you'll know it not only loses heat but also feels chilly underfoot.

Do you have a "suspended floor" or a gap beneath your floorboards? If so, insulating it is crucial, as nearly 10% of your home's warmth might be escaping through such unsealed spaces.

The good news is there are government-backed grants available that could cover professional floor insulation costs, often at no expense to you.

Considering underfloor heating? While it might be pricier, and there aren't any grants for this, it can transform a cold dwelling into a warm haven.

However, if you're on a budget, consider laying down rugs to trap warmth and provide a comfy feel underfoot. Addressing gaps in floorboards and skirting is also beneficial. Remember, these can change shape slightly over time, so opt for flexible, typically silicone-based, fillers.

3: Timers And Thermostats

Have you ever wondered if leaving your heating on throughout the day is more economical? Contrary to popular belief, it's typically a misconception.

In fact, it's both financially wiser and more energy-efficient to heat your home only when necessary. After all, there's no sense in keeping the heater on when you're out at work.

Implementing a timer and thermostat can be your best solution for maintaining warmth and managing energy costs. Especially given the rising energy prices, using a timer efficiently might save you a significant amount. So, before you ask, "Why is my house so cold?" ensure you maximise your heating system's efficiency!

4: Old, Inadequate Heating

Another factor contributing to the chilly feel of your home is an outdated heating system.

Do you have a boiler that's been around for more than 8-10 years? If so, its efficiency may have decreased over time, and it's likely less effective than the latest models.

Moreover, contemporary boilers are often designed to be compatible with a hydrogen/gas mix, which is set to become more prevalent in the UK's gas grid.

Similarly, older electric storage heaters may not only be underperforming but could also be leading to steeper energy bills.

The good part? Numerous government-supported initiatives are available to help homeowners upgrade their old boilers or heaters. In many instances, these grants can cover the total replacement cost!

5: Radiators

It's crucial to ensure that your radiators have ample space to emit heat. While rearranging furniture, it's possible to unintentionally obstruct them, but doing so can restrict warm air circulation. And while radiator covers enhance your home aesthetics, they can dampen the effectiveness of your heating.

Hence, consider installing a shelf above your radiator to better direct the warmth into your space. This can be particularly handy when a radiator is positioned below a window, helping to prevent rapid heat loss or trapping warmth behind curtains. However, ensure the shelf remains uncluttered.

Also, if you notice your radiators warming up sluggishly, it might be time for a bleed to release trapped air. A power flush is also necessary to clear any accumulated sludge within your heating system. Additionally, think about upgrading to a modern boiler to optimise radiator performance.

6: Walls

"Why is my house so cold even with the heating on?" If you're in the UK and asking this, the answer might lie in your walls.

A staggering 35% of heat can escape through uninsulated external walls. Addressing this can have a massive impact, not just on comfort but also on reducing energy bills. The UK Government's ECO (Energy Company Obligation) grant provides a way to get cavity wall insulation at no cost, making it a no-brainer for many homeowners.

However, if you had this done a while ago, remember that its efficiency lasts about 25 years before a refresh is needed.

Turning to internal wall insulation for homes with solid walls could solve your chilly woes.


In conclusion, understanding the various factors contributing to a chilly home is vital in combating those cold draughts. From outdated heating systems and insufficient insulation to the positioning of furniture and the type of walls you have, numerous elements play a part.

Thankfully, with the available solutions and resources, especially in the UK, you don't have to resign yourself to shivering in your living room. If you often think, "My house is so cold," take a step back, assess these areas, and make the necessary changes. Your comfort, well-being, and wallet will thank you.

Read more: Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install Solar Panels on Roof

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